Johanna and her husband both grew up in Richmond, Virginia, but were drawn to the paradise of the Chesapeake Bay where their young family transitioned easily from busy suburbia to small town life. Johanna quickly realized that she’d landed in a painter’s paradise and set up her studio overlooking the cove. Their kids have grown up and visit frequently on the weekends. Lucy and Hoss, their yellow labs, keep them company.
Johanna grew up in an artistic family of painters, carpenters, and metal workers. Her father made elaborate benches, birdhouses, brick paths and walls for her mother’s extensive garden filled with roses and perennials. Their childhood summers and weekends were often spent at home helping in the garden. Every other summer Johanna and her family would visit her grandparents in the Isle of Man. These summer visits were filled with hikes to highlands with vistas of hills and the distant sea or walks through glens to a stony beach.
Johanna began her formal art training as an architecture student at UVa. where she majored in Architectural History. After a summer study program in Vicenza, Italy, Johanna began sketching regularly. While working on a post college interior design degree, Johanna learned how to create watercolor renderings. This ignited her passion for painting - she still describes the thrill of putting down that inky black mark on the pure white paper. Her first subjects were old buildings and then a series of chairs. She craved ways to get more vibrant colors and create bigger pieces than watercolor would allow, so it wasn’t long before she moved to painting in oil. In the last years or so, Johanna often uses a palette knife to layer on big areas of paint. She still sometimes works in watercolor - often as a way to create a study.
Johanna exhibits her work regionally. She is always thrilled when something in her work touches someone and makes them happy.